Psychiatric resident, Angela Harper, writes an interesting article for the Psychiatric News in the March 19, 2004 issue on how she came to appreciate psychotherapy.
"I saw myself as a future clinician who would be known for her strength in psychopharmacology, not as one who would be practicing psychotherapy. Time and experience sure have a way of changing people."
Nowdays, fewer psychiatrists practice psychotherapy. Most of them have become psychopharmacologists who prescribe medications. It is very heartening to read Dr. Harper's new found appreciation of psychotherapy for two reasons: first psychotherapy works, and secondly, when outcome studies are done and analyzed, it becomes apparent that for many psychiatric disorders psychotherapy gets much better outcomes as compared to medications.
Unfortunately, there rarely is a quick fix such as medications promise, and even in treating those disorders where medications are helpful such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, supportive psychotherapy adds a great deal to the quality of the life of the patient and their families, but also improves the effectiveness of the course of treatment as well.
For anyone who thinks that medications have made psychotherapy unnecessary or obsolete, they are seriously mistaken.